New data from Synergy Research Group shows that as of the end of the third quarter of 2021, the number of large data centers operated by hyperscale providers worldwide has increased to 700. Measured by critical IT loads, the United States accounts for 49% of these data center capacity. Although the United States’ share of global capacity has been declining, the rate of decline in recent years has been very slow, only dropping by one percentage point each year. After the United States, China is the second largest contributor to the capacity of ultra-large-scale data centers, accounting for 15% of the total capacity. The remaining capacity is distributed in the rest of Asia Pacific (13%), EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) (19%), and Canada/Latin America (4%).

It is worth noting that while the number of hyperscale data centers has been growing rapidly, the average size of data centers is also increasing, so the total capacity of these data centers is growing faster. It took five years to double the number of hyperscale data centers, but it took less than four years to double the capacity.

The research is based on an analysis of the data center footprint of 19 major cloud and Internet service companies around the world, including the largest SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, search, social networking, e-commerce, and game operators. The companies with the widest data center footprint are the leading cloud providers-Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and IBM. Each has 60 or more data center locations around the world, and its footprint covers at least three of the four major regions of North America, Asia Pacific, EMEA and Latin America. Oracle, Alibaba and Tencent also have very extensive data center businesses. In terms of data center capacity, the leading companies are Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Meta (Facebook), but the fastest-growing companies are China’s super-large-scale enterprises, the most famous being Bytedance, Alibaba and Tencent.

John Dinsdale, principal analyst at Synergy Research Group, said: “Although the number of hyperscale data centers continues to grow at an alarming rate, not all data centers are created equally. Generally speaking, self-owned data centers are larger than leased data centers. The data centers in the home country of hyperscale companies are much larger than their international facilities. Although there are many exceptions to these trends. What remains unchanged is that the number and average size of hyperscale data centers continue to grow steadily. We also see a large number of hyperscale data centers are being planned, developed or installed, which supports our strong five-year growth forecast.”